SWEDISH furniture giant Ikea has been ordered to pay a fine of over £860,000 after it was found guilty of spying on staff in France.
Ikea France used private detectives and police officers to collect staff’s private data, the BBC reported.
This included illegally accessing their criminal records in order to vet applicants for jobs.
The Ingka group – which owns most of Ikea’s stores around the world – has apologised and condemned the practices.
In a statement, Ikea said it had “implemented a major action plan to prevent this from happening again”.
On Tuesday former head of risk Jean-François Paris was given an 18-month suspended sentence and a €10,000 fine.
AFP news agency reports he once wanted to know how an employee could afford a new BMW convertible, and asked why a staff member in Bordeaux had “suddenly become a protester”.
Former Ikea France CEO Jean-Louis Baillot was given a two-year suspended jail term and €50,000 fine. His lawyer told AFP Mr Baillot was “shocked” by the ruling and was considering an appeal.
The prosecution had called for a €2m fine for Ikea and for Baillot to spend a year in prison, along with a further two years suspended.
Additional Reporting by Reuters and BBC